The Kurtz family

The Kurtz family, front from left, Emily, Megan Kurtz and Kris; and back row, Mike, Jeffrey and Ben.

November was proclaimed Adoption Awareness Month in South Dakota in order to recognize those who provide forever homes to children in need. Kris and Mike Kurtz, of Dakota Dunes, have a unique story about how adoption helped their family grow in numbers and in love.

“I always say, our plan was two,” Mike stated. “God’s plan was four. We went with his plan.”

As the proud parents of four children, Kris and Mike enjoy sharing their family’s story. Their oldest, Jeffery, is a software engineer for Solarity (formally known as Edco, Health Information Solutions) and their oldest daughter, Megan, is a freshman at South Dakota State University. Their younger two children, Ben and Emily, are in high school at Dakota Valley where Kris also teaches kindergarten. Mike works for the virtual company CampusWorks, Inc. as a consultant for colleges and universities around the country.

“Here’s how I usually tell the story and usually it’s the short version, then there’s a long version too,” he remarked. “The shortened story usually goes like this – as we’re talking to people and they go, ‘Okay, how many kids do you have?’ I [say] I have four. Two boys, two girls, [they are] 24, 18, 17 and 17.”

Many assume the family must have a set of twins when hearing this, to which Kris and Mike are quick to clarify that there are no twins or triplets in their family. Then after letting it “percolate for a little while,” Mike will clarify how their youngest kids are actually seven months apart in age. From there it is hard not to segue into the longer, and remarkable, version of how the Kurtz family came to be.

Kris and Mike both attended Dakota State University in Madison, SD. The two met on campus and dated, but parted ways after college before reconnecting nine years later on New Year’s Eve in the Black Hills. Mike was working at Western Iowa Tech Community College at the time and Kris was an elementary teacher in Pine Ridge, SD.

See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times.